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Parsha Mitzvot: Shemini: Mitzvah 151 – Concept 179

“Only this may you eat from among all the flying teeming creatures that walk on four legs; one that has jumping legs above its legs, with which to spring upon the earth. You may eat these from among them: the arbeh according to its kind; the sa’alam according to its kind; the chargol according to its kind; and the chagav according to its kind (Vayikra 11:21-22) We are commanded to examine the signs of locust to distinguish between the kosher and the non-kosher (Rambam, Hilchot Ma’achalot Assurot – The Laws of Forbidden Foods).


“The locust swarm ascended over the entire land of Egypt and it rested in the entire border of Egypt, very severely (Shemot 10:14).” “It rested,” va-yonach – as in, “va-yonach,” and He rested on the Seventh day (20:11),” in the Ten Statements, refering to God “resting” on Shabbat. This is why we are taught that we may not cry out to God on Shabbat for relief from a plague of locusts! (Ba’al ha-Turim, Shemot 10:14)

We remember with gratitude how the locusts were used for our benefit in Egypt, and the Torah honors them by declaring them kosher.

We can apply this Mitzvah-Concept by 1) Being aware of how God uses all His creations as His agents, and 2) By acknowledging gratitude even to someone who may disgust us.

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